Sunday, December 30, 2007

Out with the old germs, in with the new!

What can I say about being sick?

I lay on the couch all day yesterday and read comic books and
played video games. Free license to be a full blown kid! Actually,
I don't need a license, I do that kind of thing, even when I'm not
sick. The only difference is I don't feel guilty about not exercising
or working on the house.

I'm pretty disappointed that I probably won't go out for New Years,
and it has put the kibosh on me finishing the drawers and closet
cleaning and organizing that I has started.

Maybe I get sick at New Years, so the rest of the year seems
better in comparison. (Also makes me not care about making any
silly New Years Resolutions, other than getting healthy).

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Not Again!

I can't believe it, I'm sick again!
This is at least the 5th time this year. My colds always are
2 weeks long, meaning I'll have lost 10 weeks this year to
being sick. Isn't that too much? Is it because I went out on
Christmas Eve? Can't I even leave my house without getting sick?

I don't get it. Until about 2 years ago, I almost never got
colds. Now I can't seem to not get them. What the heck is
going on with my system? I eat well, I take handfuls of vitamins
every day, I exercise, I keep my blood glucose levels low - and
nothing seems to stop this! Eventually shouldn't I have immunities
to everything? I can't even think of anything more I can do to
stay healthy. I work really hard at it already, because of the
diabetes, I've tried to do everything right.

I had a scratchy throat yesterday, and while I felt fine until
this evening, I now have full blown laryngitis, and I feel tired
and yucky. My glorious vacation! Felled on the last 4 days.
I had four places to go for New Years Eve, too. Pooh. I may
end up spending it on the couch. Again. Maybe that is my New
Years tradition.

Time for a new tradition.... :(

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Time staggers on

I'm in day 6 of of my 11 days off already! Waaaaah!
When did doing a lot of nothing become so attractive in my life?

I am absolutely delighted to not have to be anywhere, go anywhere,
and to go to bed late and sleep in late. I'm having a wonderful
time. I don't remember at what point that became more fun than
rushing around to tons of parties, and being constantly busy.
I guess I am getting old.

Speaking of old, the dog just got back from the heart checkup
at the vet. He is responding extremely well to the medicines.
The diuretics drained all the fluid in his abdomen, and he went
from 46 to 38 pounds - all of it was the bloated fluid. (The
downside is we have to let him out about once an hour.)

His enlarged heart was beating at 190 beats per minute when they
diagnosed his heart problem, but the 2 kinds of heart medicine
really helped. Today it was down to 110 beats per minute, so his
heart isn't laboring anymore. I guess I don't begrudge the $99 a
bottle heart medicine (at least until I have to buy the next
bottle...) I have to get 2 kinds of ointment for his raw patches
around his eyes and on his side, too. 6 kinds of medicine for the
old boy.

But it looks like the old curmudgeon dog will be with us a bit
longer. He's as perky and demanding as he ever was. ("Let me out,
feed me, give me treat, pet me, give me another treat!") But I
would miss the pushy b*stard.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The front yard on Christmas Eve


My view as I type this (except you can't see the snow)

Christmas at my house

Christmas Eve was started at a lively Jewish party, and
ended in a quiet Lesbian bar where a friend of ours was
hosting Karaoke. We sang into the night with him, his
sister and her husband, and his ex wife. All of our
favorite people who we partied with quite a lot this year.
A handful of the cutest Lesbians played pool in the
background and wandered up to sing. It was a lot of fun.
I do end up in the strangest places, and always feel
right at home.

Now it is Christmas day, and we did something almost traditional
this morning. Cay and I put together my new (exercise) bike.
Lots of swearing and Vaseline was involved (we couldn't find
the WD-40 to make the bolts go in). I like to imagine that
morning scene was replicated all over the country.

As I type this, one of the cats is asleep by the fire in the
wood stove, and really soft fluffy snow is drifting by the
window. A cacophony of weird voices and screaming is floating
down the stairs.

Cay is recording his last show of his "Advent Calender of
Comedy" shows. (www.tekdiff.com). It
sounds like there are 20 people upstairs, but it is all him.
I forget that when I listen to his show. He even says he
forgets they are all him, when he hears his show!

I posted my show last night and it has already gotten a
respectable number of downloads. I guess not everyone is
too busy at Christmas time. This show is a question for the
audience "Are we here to experience the me, or transcend the me?"
Get it at www.uncomfortable-questions.com.

We had scrambled eggs and mushrooms for lunch. Dinner,
I'm not so sure - I think we forgot to buy anything for
Christmas dinner, and the stores are all closed. Oh well,
I think there are some Chinese restaurants open.

This is a typical Christmas day in my world.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Traditional Christmas Eve?

Today the sun came out, so we felt like getting out - in spite
of fears that it would be crazy out there with last minute
shoppers. Strangely enough it was pretty quiet. Had no problem
going to Sears, where we saw a sale and bought ourselves
socks and underwear, believe it or not! Hey, we needed some.

Then we went to a sporting goods store and found a replacement
exercise bike for me. Mine has been mostly broken for some time
(it will only work at Level 2), and the doc wants me to do
biking for exercise. So I got a really nice one. I still hope
it will exercise for me, and I can nap on the couch....

And for a lovely early dinner, we had Chicken Nuggets at Wendy's.
Isn't that traditional Christmas fare?

Now we are getting ready to go out to Jewbilee - a Jewish party
at our favorite bar, with Karaoke and free Chinese food. My kind
of Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Snow Bunnies from H*ll

It is doing some serious snowing out there. It was only supposed
to be an inch or so, but it turned into about 5 inches so far,
and it is blowing horizontally at times. Undaunted, the roommate
went off to buy a bed, and Cay and I are going to go cook
Sukiyaki for our friend Joel at his place.

Hey it's Christmas, you are supposed to go out there, and shop
or something. Weather be darned!

We all slept in really late today, such a rare and wonderful thing.
Then Cay and I each worked on our separate shows - he is doing
a daily "Advent Calendar" of comedy for 25 straight days on
www.tekdiff.com - very entertaining, check it out! I'll record
the rest of my show tomorrow and put it up.

I'm loving this time off from work, but 2 days are already gone.
I hate that part.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

"Yeah, so I have a heart problem, can I have a cookie?"

Free as a bird

Yes, I am on my glorious Christmas break. I don't have to do anything
until January 2nd. I'm not quite reconciled to that fact yet. I'm not
quite sure what to do with myself.

One of the computer hard drives died last night - it was an old
120 GB external drive. So Cay braved the Christmas shoppers
to go find another one. I thought of going, but opted to stay
home an do absolutely nothing.

All the drives that MicroCenter had in their flyer were gone. He
found one remaining open box one for $103. It is a 500 GB drive,
which seems roomy (until we load up our itunes music library....)
Someday I want a 1 Terra Byte drive - just because. I used to think
1 TB drives were unimaginably huge and cool.

I'm due to put another show up - I have a 15 minute late answer
to the "What is the Universe" show and an idea for a new subject
that I can talk about. So the Christmas show will be the guests
from the two shows before Christmas, 2 years ago - Herb (show #24)
and Me (show #25). I guess that is interestingly circular. I hope it isn't
because it is closure, and that this becomes my last show! We will
see if I get any responses to this upcoming show, I suppose. I'm
not sure how to get the new idea to catch on.

People either respond, or they don't. It seems most people don't
want to talk about things anymore. (Which is kind of why I started
the show in the first place!) I was really hoping to get some
conversations started. I wonder why it is that people don't talk much
anymore. Who are all those people on the web?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

What? It isn't Monday?

How can it be Thursday? There was a whirlwind crisis project at
work, and then 2 days in training, and somehow it it Thursday.
It felt like 1 day since my last post.

So medical science has stabilized my family. The Cortisone is
working, and I am walking with much less pain. The dog is on
2 kinds of heart medicine and 2 kinds of diuretics. Oh and some
arthritis medicine. One of his heart medicines costs $99 !!!!
There goes any Christmas money I had. I guess it saves me from
shopping for presents.

Cay and I bought a few DVD's and that was our Christmas presents
to ourselves. Just to diagnose the dog, and his ultrasound cost
about $600. And his medicines run me about $150 a month. I keep
telling him, he had better be worth it, but he ignores me and
asks for another dog biscuit.

One more day of work and then my glorious 11 day Holiday break
begins!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The dog and I are better?

The old dog (not me - the DOG) seems better this weekend.
His tests just showed an enlarged heart but not necessarily DMC,
which they thought it was. He goes in for an ultrasound on
Monday, to see if is tumors or something. The diuretics are
helping drain the excess fluid out of his abdomen (and we have
to let the poor thing out to pee every couple of hours.)

My heel seems better from the Cortisone shot, so I am feeling
optimistic, that I'll be getting around more, real soon now.

To keep off my foot, I've spent most of the weekend on the couch,
playing the videogame Xenosaga III. It has a really involved
story, and it keeps me occupied.

One more week of work and then I get 11 whole days off! (We close
over the week between the holidays). It sounds like some kind of
little heaven.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Old person and old dog - all things medical

Well, I've been limping along (literally!). The MRI came out fine,
ankle tendons look good, even the transferred one from 4 years
ago. I got a cortizone injection into the heel for the inflamed
tendon there. Now it hurts worse than when I went in today :(

The toes might need surgery, but we are just trying padding them
for now, to see if the heel problem resolves from the cortizone.
Hopefully that will fix my limp, so the ankle will stop hurting,
leaving only one problem to deal with.

I asked the doc about walking for exercise again. He said "um,
how do you feel about biking?". Sigh. This doesn't look promising,
in the near term for my ambitions to travel.

Then the old dog has had this weird cough, so we took him in.
He has an enlarged heart and his abdomen is filling up with
fluid. They ran a lot of tests on him, and we are waiting to hear
back on the results. This could be expensive! He is pretty happy
and alert, so I hope it is somewhat treatable. I don't think he
is ready to exit left gracefully, yet. Hear! Hear! I can relate.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

MRI's suck, but not as much as some things...

I have been MRI'ed. I remember now why I hate them so much.
I forgot they involve getting an IV with contrast dye put in
your veins. I am a wonder child for people who need to give
IV's. They can't find my veins. Anywhere. They don't know
why I am alive.

They failed in my hand, after leaving a nice bruise, and
started on my arm and finally succeeded. Then they find the
most uncomfortable position possible and tell you NOT TO
MOVE AT ANY COST, OR THEY'LL HAVE TO START OVER. Then the
loud, annoying machine starts and it goes on for 45 minutes.
All the while as your body is cramping up, you are chanting
to your self "don't move, don't move, don't move, or this
won't end!"

The nurse made a mistake on one panel and had to run it again -
another 8 minutes without moving. Then she put the pressure
bandage on my arm so tight that my arm turned kinda purple
and bruised all over. So they kept me even longer to make
sure I was all right. At last it is over, I'm home, and
I'm going to go eat some comfort food.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Stasis in B minor

As the weekend draws to a close, I'm sad to see it go
(again). I am feeling much more rested, but I know it is
back into the fray tomorrow.

The MRI on my ankle is on Tuesday, and I see the doctor
again on Friday, where we will lay out a plan to get me
walking again without pain. I did a lot of research this
weekend, and it does seem that it will involve surgery.
I don't think some of it can be fixed without it. Pooh!

I really need something more fun than that to look forward
too. All that is ahead of me in the near term, is a lot
of work, a lot of pain and recovery, and a long cold winter.
Not the most inspiring of scenarios....

I need to come up with a fun goal, but until I know I can
walk more, I think I'll wait on deciding on a trip.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Frozen Solitude

The guys went off to a party for the T.V. show they work on.
I wasn't going to go out there!

I am huddled under a blanket on the couch, next to the wood
stove, unable to get warm. I wonder if working too hard
throws off your temperature control? Granted, it is only
4 degrees out, but I'm a Minnesotan. I should scoff at such
a trivial temperature! Instead, I can't wait to go to bed
under my electric blanket. Wuss!

I made it to the weekend with stunned relief. Work is too
much, I'm glad to not be there, struggling to figure out how
to get it all done. My life is reduced to 5 days of frantic
racing, followed by 2 days where I come to a complete stop.
And repeat.

When you are in the thick of it, you just keep going as fast
as you can. When you're out of it, when the brain cools down,
(mine has permanent speed stripes) the thoughts start creeping
in - "Why the heck am I doing this? Is this a good life? Is
this what I wanted out of it?"

As long as I'm in this industry, this job is as good as any
I've had. But man what an industry. The money is sweet, but
oh, at what a price, physically and mentally. Bah! I'm just
being crabby. I think I have to go on another business trip,
but I'm so blasted tired.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Where the heck?

Sooooooo tired.
I'm really blowing my resolve to write every day.

We had several more inches of snow, and a very tough
commute home last night. It's supposed to snow again
tomorrow. And Saturday. A real winter, indeed.

Work is out of hand. The snow is out of hand. I nearly
got sent to Poughkeepsie this coming week, but I may
be able to call into the training for 2 days.
Good. I'm too tired to do another trip, already.

Is it Christmas yet?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Undeniable - its Winter


Winter slumber

I feel a bit less stressed, but it is probably due to it being
the weekend. This will probably go away, as I go back to work
tomorrow.

I have such a love/hate relationship with work. I really do like
my job, and I'm pretty good at it. On the other hand, I can't do
a bad job (and still respect myself), so I take on too much and
worry about it too much. I've been dreaming a lot lately of what
it would be like to not have to work, and to be independently
wealthy. But it is just a dream, I don't have a way to make that
happen.

Yesterday morning, you could still see the grass, and it was still
slightly green, so in spite of the cold temperatures, it was easy
to deny that it was really winter. Then it snowed about 3-4 inches
yesterday and now it is really full blown winter. This snow will
stay, it wont be warm enough to melt off, probably until March.
I haven't actually gone outside yet, since it snowed. Maybe I can
pretend it is just a moving picture outside my windows....

Tomorrow I go see the foot specialist, and see if what is wrong
with my ankle and foot that is keeping me from walking much these
days. It is making it hard to exercise, and to get around.

I still dream of going to London next year, and I am determined
to do what it takes to get walking again. There has to be a way,
hopefully one that doesn't involve another round of surgery on it.
I've gone a whole year with no surgery, and I definitely prefer it
that way!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Feelin' Stressed

I think my stress meter is running a little hot. I've been
trying to get my head around way too much at work, and then on
the way home my battery light came on. The last couple of hours
have been a circus of trying to replace the battery. We couldn't
get it out. Had to buy a new tool. Raced to the parts store to get
a battery, they even stayed open a few minutes late so we could get
it. Got the battery out, and couldn't get the new one in. It was
the wrong size. How can it be the wrong size? We gave the parts
store the correct information. Now they are closed and the
battery is out.

So search the web for a parts store that is open. Found one.
Cay just ran off to get the battery, hopefully they have it, and
it is the right size, and they close in 20 minutes. Grrr!
I have to be up at 6 am - have an 8 am meeting, gotta get this
fixed. And now the weather channel says the first big snow storm
of the season could clobber us on Saturday. Cay gets back, and
they tested the battery, it is fine. It might be an alternator
problem. So now I get to do driving roulette. Drive back and forth
to work in freezing weather, and hope I make it and don't get stranded.

I need a hot bubble bath and a beer. In any order.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Colds and Cold

I'm finally feeling a little better. The cold is almost gone, after
the obligatory 2 weeks. My colds are always 2 weeks long. Don't
other people get over them in a week?

Work is sucking up my life again. Too much to do, and I have to
get up extra early the next 3 days for training and an important
meeting. Makes me crabby, I hate getting up early. However both
things involve people on the east coast, so they don't think it
is so early.

It was 5 degrees out when I got up this morning. I pulled out
all the heavy winter coats, gloves, hats, and sweaters for the
first time this season. It is hard to admit that winter is here
already. Especially since there is no snow on the ground, it
just doesn't look like winter.

However I can feel the chill coming right through the walls in
my house. I keep finding storm windows we forgot to close, and
we sealed up one window that was letting in much cold air. I think
we're as closed up as possible, and it is still frigid. Too bad
I like old houses so much, they just aren't very warm! The same
goes for Minnesota.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The holiday is over?

Those 4 days off went so fast! I can't believe that it is back
to work tomorrow. I am still not totally well, but I felt better
enough today to work on putting Christmas lights up on the fence,
bushes and door outside. We decided to do it today, as this is
likely the last warm day we will see this winter. It was 51
degrees! It is supposed to be teens and 20's next week.

After a couple of hours I was so wiped, I lay on the couch and
willingly read some papers I had to get through for work. I was
going to blow them off, because I didn't feel much like working
on my weekend, but I really had to rest after that workout.
I have barely moved for the last 2 weeks due to my cold, so it
didn't take much to put me flat.

But the outside is now decorated, so begins the slide into
Christmas, which will also come too fast. Slow down, my life,
darn it!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The cat uses the exercise equipment...

The little tree

Starting Christmas

I just posted the latest Uncomfortable Questions show -
Interview with Michael.
I put a new opening theme on it that I wrote in GarageBand.
The original is 3 minutes long and I came up with a truncated 30
second version. It still needs some tweaking.

I think the show turned out well, my guest was so open, warm,
and human. I enjoyed doing the edit and hearing the show again.
I managed to croak out an intro and outro to the show, my voice
is still shot from the laryngitis, but at least audible. I wonder
if having a sore throat for 12 days is good?

While I edited, Cay got in a Christmas mood and put up the little
Christmas tree and decorated it. Last year we forgot to put it
up at all, what with my surgery and all, so this year we made
sure to remember to do it. He also made a steak and mushroom pie
with a low-carb crust mix we had. It was very good!

The roommate is running around like nuts. His band has two shows
tonight for their EP release party. He was handmaking the CD's
late into the night.

Creativity, Christmas lights and comforting food. It was a good day.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A quiet Thanksgiving

It was a quiet day. We made a turkey breast, low carb stuffing,
and had a little jellied cranberry sauce. It tasted enough like
typical Thanksgiving food, that we didn't feel too deprived.

Otherwise we watched videos, played games, sat in the hot tub
and watched the snow. It flurried for an entire day, coating the
ground and roofs in white. We kept the wood stove burning all
day to psychologically offset the snow and cold.

I rested a lot, trying to shake this head cold and laryngitis.
Still no luck. I feel about the same. I'm getting really bored
with being sick. Whatever, it was a day.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Nearly the Holiday

Typical "day before the holiday" at work. Everyone sort of
evaporated early to get on with the Thanksgiving plans. I
stayed late, trying to get caught up on the massive number of
documents I have to read over the next 2 weeks.

When I left work it was snowing! The most substantial snow
so far. It is only a dusting, but it actually stuck to the ground
for the first time this season. It warms up this weekend, so it
wont stay around, but it is hard to deny that it is winter
again.

I still have the laryngitis! This is the longest I've ever
had it. Usually I only get it for a day, but this has been
4 days now. I hope having 4 days off to rest will finally shake
this cold. It is still with me after 9 days, and doesn't seem
to be getting any better.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Yes it is gutters! Red, even!


Only a homeowner could get excited

So what's new in my life? Gutters!
After holding out for 8 1/2 years, I had gutters put on my
house yesterday. The basement started to get damp walls, and
everyone told me I needed gutters. The house didn't have any
when I bought it over 8 years ago.

I thought I might need some, but it is really hard to save up
money for something as unexciting as gutters. But I finally did
and there they are. I'm $1000 poorer, and you really can't tell
anything changed on the house.

Other than that, I had a spectacular case of laryngitis yesterday.
It was nearly complete, I couldn't get any sound out at all.
Which was amusing at all the meetings I had to go to. I still
have it today, but I can squeak out some sound.
I read that ginger tea helps the inflamed vocal cords, so
I've been drinking a lot of it. Oh, how exciting my life is!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Grlublg!

My cold took a turn for the worse today, darn it! Yesterday
I thought I might get over it soon. I now have a REALLY sore
throat, and laryngitis to boot. So much for doing an interview.
We scheduled it for Dec 1st, instead.

I guess I know how I'm spending Thanksgiving. In bed, I assume.
I have to get into work the next 3 days, but that will probably
set me back again. Ho-hum. I figured out that I have been sick
or layed up from some operation or another for about 1/3 of my
life. If one sleeps another 1/3 of your life - that means I've
only had 1/3 of a real life.

No wonder I'm so juvenile at my age! (I'm really only 17 by how
much life I've actually gotten to experience....)

Back to bed....

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Back Home

So I did catch all my flights and made it home.
I went right to bed and slept for 10 hours. I didn't feel
well enough to go into work yesterday, but it gave me a
chance to work from home, catch up on all the work email,
and read a bunch of documents that I had been putting off.

Today I feel a little better. This isn't a very bad cold
so far, mostly annoying and tiring. I'm trying that
"Airborne" product that my roommate uses to fight off
colds. Of course you are supposed to take it right away,
and I didn't start it until I had the cold for 4 days.

I should be editing my next show and doing another interview.
But heck, that's what tomorrow is for.

The reds in Raleigh




I forgot to take pictures of the beautiful fall colors until we
were heading back to the airport. I just randomly snapped pictures
out the window, and my fellow travelers laughed at me and decided I was indeed a bad photographer. But this shows a little of the reds that were in full glory.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sick and tired in another place

So now I'm sick, and slightly drunk, and sitting in a hotel room
in North Carolina. My sore throat got much worse during the night
and kept me awake most of the night.

It was off to the customer for a full day of meetings from 8:30
to 6 pm. A very, very long day. Our darling SE stopped and got
me some cold medicine and sore throat lozenges. It helped me
survive the day. However it is 75 degrees and the fall colors
were quite beautiful.

Then we went to dinner with the customer, and I had much wine to
make me forget I was sick. It didn't make me forget, but I didn't
care as much.

Now I'm sobering up, and have to do more work tonight. And then
up again at 6:30 for another day of meetings until our plane
leaves at 4 pm. I wasn't able to check in for some reason, so
here's hoping I actually have 2 planes waiting for me tomorrow.
We are connecting through Missouri on the way back. I must have
been in Missouri before, but I don't remember it.

Back to work!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I'm somewhere...

I made it to North Carolina. The planes were on time, and it was
an uneventful trip. I think it is full autumn here, but it was
dark when we got in. I can't wait to see the fall colors in the
morning. The leaves are all pretty much gone in Minnesota.

I'm in some hotel room, and it looks like a hotel room. Nothing
exciting. Not like my jacuzzi tub and mirrored suite on the last
trip!

I decided to get a jump on my usual getting sick on every trip.
The minute I walked into the airport in Minnesota, I swear at that
exact moment, I got a sore throat. That is usually how my colds
begin, so I think I am getting one. I hope it doesn't go into
full production until I get back. What timing :(

I have to be up at 6:30, so I better go try to get some sleep -
something I find nearly impossible in hotel beds. I hope I wake
up and find I'm not sick. I have 2 days of continuous meetings
ahead, I don't have time to be ill! I wish you could schedule
being sick.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Back from a beer?

The writing muse must have come back from that beer; all but 2 of
the blogs I read had stuff written in them again this weekend. It
must have been one of those Novembers. People were sick, on
vacation, or otherwise distracted it seems. Hello everybody!

I did pack today for my trip on Tuesday. A friend dropped by, the
roommate passed through, I finished my Hamtaro game. It was over
60 degrees today, really great for mid November! I also bought a
case for my DS game system for the trip. Hopefully my DS wont get
stolen on this trip... (my last one was taken from my room on the
last business trip) Airports and planes are boring without a
distraction.

I have a long day of traveling on Tuesday. A small plane to Chicago,
and another one to Raleigh. The layover is short, so I got a very
small carry on bag, and I'm taking everything with me on the plane.
Coming back is 2 even smaller planes, changing planes in Missouri.
But everything is charged up and ready to go, (except me). I'm
ready for bed.... Night!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Where is everybody?

Ugh, what a week. Let's see, I've now lost 6 1/4 lbs in less than
2 weeks. I've been awfully tired and not feeling very good. I
have no reserves left at night, and have been going to bed early.
Partially due to the hunger, but mostly from way the heck too
much work.

I got one customer program off the ground and it is now proceeding
after a huge, frantic learning curve. I've nearly finished a 100 page
plan today that I have to send out on Monday for the people I'm
meeting in North Carolina on my business trip.

With what I learn on the trip, I'll probably have to write another
paper of at least that size. Then I need to get another program
up and running, and finish setting up 10 racks of equipment that
I haven't managed to get to since the move. Then a couple of more
programs.

When does the "resting on my laurels" part come in? And what are
laurels? A kind of shrubbery, I think. Doesn't sound very comfortable
to rest in one...

I should be editing another show, right now, but I think I'll end
up packing for the trip instead. This is nuts!

Weird thing, the 10 or so blogs I've been following, have gone dead
for the last week or so. I guess I'm not the only one. It is like
everyone stopped writing all together. Is everyone as busy as me,
or did the writing muse step out for a beer?

I feel a little unconnected. I guess reading blogs of my friends, some
on other countries, made me feel social. That I was keeping up with
my friend's lives, even though I wasn't seeing anyone. I wonder if
we use blogs as a shortcut, it saves time so we don't have to go out
of our way to make contact? This whacky modern world!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Shhhhhh

Working too hard. Be back soon.

(And lost 5 1/4 pounds since last Monday. Yay!)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Closing Down

We somehow overlooked that today we were supposed to go off
of daylight savings time. We first noticed when the cell phones
reported that they had changed. Usually the paper makes a big
deal out of it, and I hadn't noticed any mention of it. I had
to look it up on the web, to see if it had indeed changed today.

Today was preparing for cold weather day. This coming week
looks to be pretty cold, so it was time to do those closing
up the house
things. Remove the air conditioner from the
window, move the breakfast nook furniture in off the back
porch and set it up inside, put the flannel sheets on the bed,
buy a load of firewood and pick up a few supplies for the week.

We needed fire starers for the woodstove. We had been using
paper, which clogs up the damper screen. To buy fire starters
costs over $1 apiece which seemed to be quite a lot if you have
a fire everyday! I looked it up on the web, and they had several
"recipes" for homemade fire starters.

One was simply to soak dryer lint in candle wax. We actually
had a lot of dryer lint in a wastebasket next to the dryer.
So we got a block of candle wax and Cay made up a bunch of
lint balls on a cookie sheet. They look like some kind of grey,
hairy appetizer. But they work like a charm, and are very cheap
to make, just the cost of a block of candle wax.

The winds are supposed to start howling at around midnight,
bringing in the big cold front. We are as ready as we can be.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

And more about computers

I killed the whole day on computers. We had a struggle updating
Cay's ibook to Leopard. It crashed in the middle, and upon
reinstalling, it removed his administrator privileges! So it
was to the web, to figure out how to break in and reset
the password on the root account. That was solved, and he is
up and running.

We then played with lots more of the features. Last night we
did a video chat with one of our friends in Tokyo, so we
could try out the new features in that. Lots of fun! It is
so weird to see a house we stayed at in Japan, through our
computer. It seems like it is just around the corner, instead
of halfway around the world. This instant communication is
one of the coolest things about computers.

Then I decided to make a new banner for my website. Since I
don't have Photoshop, this involved downloading a freeware
knockoff, "Seashore", learning to use it, and learning to use
the program "Art Text" to do the lettering. I didn't find either
of them intuitive, but then, I've never used programs like
that before. I did get a new banner up for the top of my
www.uncomfortable-questions.com website. Look and be in awe!

Unfortunately you have to edit the template with HTML by hand
to do anything to that page, so the banner is all that will
happen to that. I thought putting photos of guests on that
page was ambitious enough. I keep hoping the hosting site for
the show will update their page tools, but they haven't
improved them in the last 2 years, so it is a hope in vain.

Maybe I should do something non-computer related tomorrow....

Friday, November 02, 2007

Leopards in November

I couldn't resist buy Leopard anymore, so I picked it up on the
way home from work. And spent the last 2 hours installing it and
trying it out. Except for a weird thing where it defaulted my
mail accounts to using authentication, when it should have said
"none", everything else worked fine. It took awhile to fix the
mail problem, but I'm running now. I can't tell if it is
much faster or cooler, yet.

Otherwise, trying to get my head around it being November already!
The weather will hold here until Monday - its been 50's during the
day and decent enough out. Then it drops to the 40's in the daytime,
and 25 or so at night. Luckily no snow forcasted for the next
10 days.

My business trip for work did get scheduled, so I'm off to North
Carolina on the 13th for a couple of days. At least its warmer
there.

I really want to lose 10 pounds before then, so I'm still dieting
like a fiend. I've lost 3 1/2 pounds since Monday, so I've got
a running start at it. I'm nearly dying of hunger and tiredness
from lack of food, though. It was a rough week - a real test of
willpower. I even managed to not eat any leftover Halloween
candy! I set the leftovers out at work by the coffee machine, and
they magically vanished withing the hour.

And that's all the news....

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Well the weather is right for Halloween. When I left work
the freezing wind was howling across the plains out in
Shakopee. I was flash frozen before I got the 100 feet to
my car. But it is 48 degrees out, it shouldn't be that cold.
It was 70 degrees, just yesterday!

A few kids have shown up for candy, we never get very many.
While we are waiting, we started the first fire of the
season in the woodstove. It is a great psychological boost.
Even though it hasn't warmed up the room yet, just seeing
the fire, makes me feel warm.

The diet was better today, I don't feel like I'm going to
expire immediately from hunger. I have lost 2 1/2 pound in
the last 3 days. So far, it is easier this time, for no
discernible reason.

Tomorrow, nothing too exciting. I'm getting a flu shot at
work. Woo-hoo! It doesn't get funner than that.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I ate the dog? Again?

Actually, I didn't. But I could have. I was shaking from
hunger when I got home. I was so busy today, that I ate
around 750 calories up until 7:30 pm tonight. It seemed
a luxury to eat another 500 calories all at once!

I hope I can keep this up. Being hungry is no fun, but I
can stand it for awhile, if I am getting the constant
reward of seeming the pounds roll away.

Nobody seems very happy at work, since we moved. I think
the stress of that and layoffs did more damage than I thought.
The workload is still too much, and I keep hoping I will
catch up soon. If I could just finish setting up my lab,
and get everything running smoothly, I have to believe things
will get easier.

Starving and working. That's all I can think about right
now. I hope things get pleasanter!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Restrictions or Reductions?

I started diet number 10 million and 3. If work is going to
keep putting me on planes, I gotta lose some weight. I am just
not comfortable in plane seats, I fill them up too well.

Plus I keep thinking if I get more weight off my bad ankle,
it might last a bit longer. Feh. I have lots of good reasons,
but now I actually have to do it. But nothing has been working.

Now I'm trying just lots of fiber drinks, protein meal replacement
bars, and some fruit and vegetables. We'll see if just not eating
much of anything works. I did do about 1300 calories today, though.
It is easy if I'm really busy, it's the weekends that will be
interesting.

And the 2nd day. The 1st day, your body doesn't notice anything
is wrong. The next couple of days, it throws a major temper
tantrum, trying to make you "knock it off, and eat already!"
I have to keep trying, and believing that maybe this time, it
will be different.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Blazing along

Waaah! 3 of my 4 days off are nearly gone. Time off from work
never lasts long enough. Yesterday was getting lots of little
tasks out of the way. Then off to the Halloween store to pick
up a couple of costume items.

I had to attend a Halloween party last night, and another one
tonight. The party last night was a lot of fun, it was held
by our Brew Master friend, with various brewers from the
Renaissance Festival. There were 2 home brew beers on tap,
and 2 varieties of mead - a dry mead and a blueberry mead.

Needless to say, I've been a bit hung over all day today. The
mead was delicious, and so very, very high in alcohol content.
Unfortunately that wasn't obvious until it was far too late.

An interesting side effect, I haven't sung in a year because
my asthma medicine really made me hoarse. After drinking the
mead, I sang many songs to the karaoke machine that another
of our friends had set up. I sounded exactly the same as I did
a year ago, before losing my voice. I wonder if that is a
little known medical benefit of really good mead?

I did check my email at work, and it looks like I have another
business trip looming in mid November. This time it is back to
Raleigh, North Carolina. It has been a year since I was there,
so I suppose it is time to go again. I wont have time to get
into the foot doctor before then, so walking is going to be a
pain. Its always something. Business trips just are never
comfortable or a whole lot of fun. At least this time, I'm not
going alone, so it wont be so lonely at dinner.

Today we had to bring in all the plants from outside. It is
supposed to hit freezing tonight. It does make the back porch
look festive, all covered in the green and flowering pots.

I have to start getting ready for the Halloween party tonight.
I'm not being very clever, I just found a really cool pair of
"Goth" wings in burgandy and black, so I got some makeup with
fake piercings, and a leather and chain hat. I'm going as an
"urban fairy", whatever the heck that is.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

And a perfect fall sky

Make a wish, at the lake...

I don't feel 51, do I have to be it?

Glorious Birthday!

Wow, what a wonderful day for a birthday!
The weather was perfect. About 60 degrees, sunny, with
the bluest of all fall skies, setting off the colors of the
beautiful fall trees.

The trees used to peak around here about October 10th, but
I'd say they are about 15 days late. They are peaking today.
Usually the leaves are pretty much gone by my birthday.
And since fall is my favorite time of year, its like an
extra present to have the colors today. To say nothing of
the huge full moon of last night.

I started the day by going down to the DMV to renew my drivers
license. Not very exciting, but I've been putting it off
because of the craziness of moving work - there was no good
time to do it. And besides they all wished me a happy birthday.

Then it was off to the Global Marketplace in the old Sears
building. I hadn't been there yet, though it has been open
for awhile. We looked at all the shops and food, and bought
a couple of middle eastern pastries, which is what I was
craving this year, instead of cake. We also tried real
brewed cola, and real Turkish pistachio Delight. (Both
quite yummy!)

Then we drove to Midori's to have Japanese food for lunch.
And at 2:45 pm, the exact time of my birth, we went to Lake
of the Isles, and I threw in a favorite rock and made a wish.
They never come true, but I've been doing that ritual for
most of the last 25 years.

This year I wished for my leg to heal up, and to have health
and mobility, so we can go to England next year. My ankle and
foot are still giving me problems, so I can't walk very much.
(London just doesn't work well, if you can't get around!)

The lake was gorgeous, and we drove around that area for
awhile and picked out houses for sale that we would like to
live in, if we were rich. My real wish is to be filthy rich,
and spend every day like this, shopping, seeing things, and
mostly not working!

For the last 2 hours I've been watching the cacophony
outside. About 20 crows chased a hawk into our big tree,
and they've been yelling at him continuously. I wonder
if eventually they'll all get bored and go home?

For dinner, Cay is going to make one of my favorite curries.
And maybe later, We'll go out for a quick drink at the
karaoke bar we like to hang out in. This is the life!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mama told me......

I survived the day, and even made amazing headway at work.
Good, because now I have 4 glorious days off. I don't know
where to start!

So tomorrow I'm another year older. I still don't relate to
this aging thing. Only my body seems to be getting older,
my mind is pretty firmly stuck at about 30. I know everyone
says that, ask any older person. But it still is different
when it happens to you.

I think of all the things my elders told me in life, and it
just never mattered to me, at the time. I guess I can't say
no one told me. I just didn't believe it. It doesn't prepare
you for the things that happen, either. It all still surprises
me, like I'm the first person it ever happened to.

So what is the point of a historical perspective if we can't
learn from those who came before? Maybe we don't think it
applies to us, because times are different than for them.
And a lot of it is different. We have to find new pathways,
new ways for us to traverse this life.

But some of it is the same. There just isn't a good way to
predict. So we trudge forward, unprepared for our future.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Waiting for Halloween

Fried (Chicken?)

I find myself wishing more and more that I had chosen to be
a beach bum. I come home exhausted every night, not having
achieved anything I had set out to do that day at work. It
just keeps expanding. I don't know how I'm going to wrestle
it back into the bottle it seems to have escaped from. (I
guess the genie analogy is wrong - it wont grant me 3 wishes).

One more insane day to go, and then I get two days off.
It will all still be there next week....

Lurking. Waiting to pounce!

I think I need a perspective adjustment. Its getting hard
to leave work at work. Having a call early tomorrow morning
so we can get on a call with India probably won't help....

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Survived the weekend with flying colors!

Yesterday was gorgeous, possibly the last incredible day of
fall. It was sunny and 73 degrees out. I had an interview for
the show with a guy from the area. We sat in a park near Lake
of the Isles amidst the fall trees (and way the heck too many
people - that park is usually deserted!) and had a wonderful
interview.

Then, since my ankle is still a mess, I went to the Mall of
America, and bought a new pair of really comfortable shoes with
a support insert for them at The Walking Company. Hopefully
having proper shoes will help a bit. (Makes you wonder what
kind of "improper" shoes I was wearing? Actually just some
clogs, but they didn't hold up my ankle.)

Today I buckled down and edited the last show that I should
have had up by now. This is the experimental show where I
asked the audience a question, and didn't get much response.
I finally bullied a few people into answering the question.
I enjoyed doing this show a lot. It has much variety, and it
was easy to edit!

Anyways, it is up now, at:
www.uncomfortable-questions.com.

Tomorrow, it is back to work. Blug. However I'm taking Thursday
and Friday off, because Thursday is my birthday. I like to take
them off and make it a day where I can goof off, and just do
whatever I feel like. It is my own special day.

Friday, October 19, 2007

TGIF, yo!

Its Friday, its Friday!
Ah, ha, ha, ha, hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah......

(I'm better now.)

It was a week and then some. I'm hoping that work was
not indicative of what it will be like in the future.

I'm trying to believe it was just the madness of settling
down and restructuring and reshuffling everything after the
layoffs, and the insanity of setting up massive labs after
moving and figuring out the very large new building.
I ended up trying to do everything and just frying my
brain and body and blowing out my ankle.

I hope next week is a little saner.

On with the weekend!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The yard is a puddle

It is raining. It seems like it is always raining.
The paper said that it has rained 16 out of the last 18 days.
Have I moved to Seattle? I feel soggy, even though I'm inside.

I think a few days of sunshine would perk everyone up. The
days go by in a daze, and I'm really tired all of the time.
(I suppose that could be because I'm trying to cover way too
much at work, instead of the rain....)

The dogs are going a bit crazy because the can't sit outside
in the yard. It is one big mud slick. With the chilly fall
weather, we've been wanting to cut up some wood, and rake up
some of those leaves, but it's going to take some serious sun
to make anything dry enough. So strange that this summer we
were in a drought.

I have to put my show together this weekend. It is a week
late, but the move at work, and working last weekend finished
off any energy I had. I also have an interview with a local
person I have never met on Saturday for the following show.
Always fun to do the show in person!

And now, my warm bed is calling my name....

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Missing

The stories are gone.

Since I was very young, I would tell myself wonderful, wild,
long and elaborate stories. To help myself fall asleep. Whenever
I was bored. When I was daydreaming. When I was driving or walking
along. The stories were always there, and always better than
real life.

I noticed lately that there aren't any more stories. I just
fall asleep. I don't daydream. I wake up and think about
work, and how I'm going to get everything done.

It seems so empty without the stories. Where did they go?
Why did they go? It is too quiet in my head.

The stories were so strong and vivid, I had a theory that if
I told them hard enough, they were a force of their own.
That some of the magic would creep into the real world,
and more interesting things would be created in my life.
Sometimes it did seem that it was true. But now?

Life has been kind of tough and down. Give me back my stories!

I miss them.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Warm

I finally got a really solid night of sleep. And I still
felt awful all day. The trip, being sick, and the move were
a bit much for me over the last 4 weeks. I don't feel like
I'm recovering very well. I'm faced yet again, with
rebuilding my health, lots of exercise, eating very healthy
things, blah, blah, blah.

So I went and bought an electric blanket :)
I haven't had one for years, and I swore I wouldn't go
through another winter without one. I set it up and turned
on the "preheat" setting to warm up your bed. A friendly,
gentle heat started exuding from the blanket. Ha, ha!
Let winter come.

Dazed and in Pain!

Wow, I didn't even remember to write my blog for days!
I worked again today - the 6th straight day of moving stuff
at work. Now we are in the put it all back together stage,
and making progress. A couple more days and some things
should be running again.

This whole week has be a fog of pain, stiffness, and
walking around and standing way the heck too much on a
foot and ankle that keeps swelling up (its the bad
ankle with the tendon replacement.). I just want it to be
done, and get back to some kind of normalcy at work.
Like actually doing some work, instead of all this
physical labor.

My friend Sharon, who I work with, came over last night
and we did the only thing two very tired, aging women
could do in these circumstances. We drank beer and sat
in my hot tub, and talked about the layoffs and our hopes
for our futures.

I am taking tomorrow off - I'll face it all again on Monday.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sore doesn't even describe it

My lab moved today to the new building. I am hard pressed
to find a part of my body that doesn't hurt right now.

My nose. I don't think my nose hurts. My feet and back,
forget it. I can't get up off the couch. I'm a bit worried
about the foot and ankle I had the tendon graft on. It is
really inflamed, and that is how the first tendon snapped.
I'd like to keep the new one.

But my lab is mostly moved. My desk didn't move today, it
goes on Friday, so I got to sit at my new desk with nothing
in it at all, and no computer. I do like my new cube though.
And the new building is beautiful.

Now I get to start the painful task of setting all the lab
equipment back up. Seems like a waste, I just got it all
taken down. Mostly I just hope I can walk tomorrow!

Monday, October 08, 2007

I am a sore puppy...

The work move went into high gear. I had to un-cable 10 racks
and 2 desks full of equipment. There were hundreds of cables,
entirely enmeshed running into the ceiling racks, jumping over
3 rows. Halfway through the day, I was exhausted and knew I
couldn't possibly get done by tomorrow night.

I sent out the email HELP! call, and had 2 others working on
it with me for the rest of the day. We got most of it done,
just some final touches tomorrow. I stopped sorting the
cables and just stuffed them all in boxes. I'll figure it
out on the other end. I then went and finished packing my
cube for good measure!

I was pretty spent when I got home. Being sick for so long
had left me far weaker than I had expected. A good soak in
the hot tub later, and I'm considering living again. Good
thing, because I have to keep up that level of labor all
week. Tearing down other's test beds, moving on Wednesday,
and starting to set it up and re-cable it all on the other
end.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Hot Creativity!

Quite the artistic hub today at our house. The roommate's band
were recording a CD in the basement. Our record publisher friend
who records stand-up comedians came over, and Cay is going to
do some commercials for his company, that will air on the radio
in New York.

My friend David dropped by, and he and I weren't very creative,
but we did reinvent how weather works. We decided the
Canadian air (we hope will arrive soon - it was 86 degrees and
intensely humid) comes down because the curvature of the Earth
and because we are below Canada, so it sort of falls down.
(So much for science!).

We were just a little overheated. The band members emerged
occasionally from the basement, stripped of shirts and drenched
in sweat. Cay took a couple of hundred of photos of their
session in our very messy basement for their CD. It hopefully
gives it a sort of punk credibility. No recording in clean
suburban basements for them!

It's supposed to be in in the 60's all next week, and we are
rather looking forward to it. I didn't have any cold symptoms
for the first time today, but even a little trip to the
grocery store completely wore me out. Time to start building
my strength back up. Tomorrow.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

This just might work?

I'm coming back to life today, cold is almost gone.
I even got on the ol' exercise bike, but only made it for 10
minutes - I'm really weak from being sick for 2 weeks.
It didn't help that it was also 90 degrees. In October! I was
getting all geared up for autumn.

Since I was feeling better, I decided to do something about
getting not enough responses to my question for the next show
and sent out some emails to some previous guests, with lots
of begging and groveling.

One of them recorded 11 minutes for me, and sent it right away.
Thanks Andrew! Another (who had sent a response), posted
it on a forum where they talk about that stuff, and hopefully
they will send something to me. Thanks Graviton Ring. So
I've set a deadline of next Saturday, and I have my fingers
crossed that I will have a show after all.

Plus I've had 2 more volunteers for a "regular" interview,
and now that I'm feeling better, I'll have to schedule those.

I even spent a couple of hours updating my resume, paying bills,
balancing the checkbook, going through all my mail and email.
I'm back in action!

Friday, October 05, 2007

You call this health?

I'm feeling very restless.

My new idea for my show didn't work. Today was the deadline,
and I only got 2 responses. I wonder what will happen to my
show. Should I keep trying, or should I give it up?

I worry about work, and if it will be stable for awhile, or if
I will have to find another job in the near future? I really,
really don't want that one to end.

I'm worried about my health, and just how long I'm really
going to be able to last. And will I do anything worthwhile
with the time I have left, or will I just let it all slip
away?

I guess all this fretting is a good sign. While I was sick,
I just didn't care. I must be getting back to normal....

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Feel Like Crap

Title says it all. I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Not There Yet....

Last night, after an exhausting day of packing up the lab
and going to too many meetings, I collapsed pretty early
and slept for a long time. I'm just not over this cold yet,
and tire awfully easily.

I actually look forward to getting back to exercising and
eating right. Hard to imagine - in generally I'm not all
that fond of exercise and eating healthy!

It turns out I did have enough money to replace my pink
Nintendo DS that was stolen on my trip, so I feel a
little better about that. I also found one of the games
that was with it, for not too much money on the web -
so I'm replacing that one. Haven't had the heart to
look for the others. How can you get ahead in finances,
if you have to keep buying the same things over again?

I'm also trying to get the energy up to update my resume.
Just in case. I don't think I'll need it for awhile, but
I've had the wake up call, yet again, that life is not as
stable as I would like. I just can't face it yet, I'll
take a crack at it, this weekend.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Back at it?

I'm trying to come back to life. I'm still pretty sick but
managed to make it through work. I'm cleaning up, tearing
down, and packing 10 racks and 2 desks worth of equipment
for the move next Wednesday. I started already, because I'm
so slow from this cold, I can't keep at it very long.

Some of this stuff hasn't been moved in 6 or more years, and
it is a dusty mess. I have to wear a dust mask while packing,
so it doesn't set off my asthma. I hope all the dirt will
fall off during the move, so the new building will be nice
and clean!

I hate moving my household, and moving work isn't any more
fun. I'll be really glad when we're settled in the new place.

I discovered the video game Eternal Sonata is a blast. It
is the most beautiful game I've ever seen, and educational
to boot. It takes place in a fantasy dream the composer
Chopin has in his dying hours. The story of Chopin's life,
and his music wrap through the game. Plus the battles can
have multiple players, so I get to play too, instead of just
watch, like most Role Playing Games. Makes being sick, almost
enjoyable....

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sickly Denial

Slow weekend. I'm still sick from my trip, and I helpfully
gave the cold to Cay. So we both layed around on the couch all
day yesterday and finished the video game Blue Dragon. Today,
we might start Eternal Sonata. It is that kind of weekend.
Rainy, gloomy, and sick - might as well play.

I'm dealing with my feelings about work by just going into
denial. If I don't think about it, maybe things will be fine.
And they may be. Who knows.

I want to love work and be proud of it, so I guess that is what
I will do for now. And still update the resume, when I feel
better, as insurance! With luck, it will be like insurance. I've
almost never had to collect on the insurance - but when I had to,
it was nice it was there.

Pooh, I thought about work again. Back to the video games!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

I didn't get kicked off the island (yet)

Well we had the rumored layoffs yesterday. They were much deeper
than expected, every small group lost a couple of people - even
really good people. We huddled in the halls, waiting to see who
was taken. They swooped down on people in their offices and labs,
and they returned with a blue folder, and a stunned look on their
faces. They had an hour to pack up and say goodbye. There is no
good way to do layoffs.

I survived, and still have a job. But I really hate layoff days.
Whether you have a job or not at the end, you still feel
horrible.

The faith in your company is shaken. You have to say goodbye
to people you liked. Morale is in the toilet. You wonder if
you should start updating your resume. The company was smart
enough not to even try to make us work that day. They just
let us cling together, talking. And had a couple of meetings
to talk about it, that didn't make us feel any better.

The problem is we all really like this company and working there.
A bunch of the "survivors" went out drinking last night, and
that kept coming up. "We WANT to work there!" "I'm in denial,
I don't want to think the company might not make it". We
drank for about 4 hours. It was somewhat healing to be together.

We have our big, exciting move to a building built just for us
in a week. We were pretty excited about it, but now the joy is
gone. We just wonder how long we will get to be there.
We make good stuff, and we all hope that a miracle will happen
and we will get those big sales and contracts. And that because
our stock is down, no one will buy us, and lay off some more.

That is what I meant by changes and being unsettled, in the
last entry. I thought I had a comfortable future, and now it
is all up in the air again. I love being in the computer
industry, but it is a brutal industry. There is a lot of money,
but you have to put up with never knowing when your job will
end. Good Times, eh?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Unsettled

Tomorrow promises to be *interesting*, based on some rumors
today. The near future also may be interesting, based on
other rumors. Changes. Not necessarily good?
I'm feeling very unsettled.

You get in a groove you like and don't want things to change.
At least not drastically, or out of your control. I hope for
the best, but plan for the worst.

Otherwise, still feeling rotten from my cold.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

All Things Medical

I finally went in to have the vertigo treated. It is one of
those weird medical treatments that doesn't seem very medical.
They hang your head over a table and put you in various positions.
This apparently causes the loose calcium bits to flow around all
3 of your semicircular canals, and end up back in the middle
where they belong. They then settle into some hair like things
that hold them again.

I can't bend over and have to sleep propped up for 2 days to
make sure they settle into their home. I go back next week and
the physical therapist is going to teach me how to do the
positions to put the calcium bits back, if they should come
loose again. There is a 40% chance of recurrence in two years.

After that I stayed at home and dialed into work, because my
cold is really awful. I feel about as rotten as possible, but
at least I don't have vertigo! (small condolence!) I hope I'm
well enough to go to work tomorrow. I have to start packing
equipment up for the big move in less than 2 weeks. Besides
sitting at home being sick is pretty boring!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Done For!

The cold got me full force today. I was labeling equipment
for our move in 2 weeks, when the fever really kicked in and
I didn't want to be there anymore. I made it through the day,
but tomorrow may be dubious. I've got stuff to work from
home, if needed.

The next show is looking dubious. I've only gotten a quick
paragraph from two people so far. I hope everyone is just
procrastinating until the deadline. if not, I don't have
a show for next time.

I have gotten 2 more volunteers lined up to do traditional
shows, and I will gladly do those, but I was really hoping
that the new format would fly. I started the show because I
wanted more of a discussion on the big questions. My audience
seems much happier with listening, however. I suppose I need
to do what makes them happy!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sick of Travel and Travel Sickness

Darn it, I have a really sore throat. I only remember one trip
where I didn't get sick, and I don't think this will be one.
My body is definitely trying to come down with a cold. I'm
slamming the vitamins and immune system boosters to try to
dissuade it from such silliness. It seems that if I am exposed
to any new germ, my body decides to try it on for size....
Why couldn't I be susceptible to making money, instead of
catching germs?

I gained 3 pounds on the trip, wiping out the last 2 months
of weight loss. I had gained 3 back before that - so everything
I lost this summer is back. While the Alli diet pills didn't
work for me, I think I'm going to use their online meal plan.
It is a good one, and you plan out your week of food,
substituting meals in their suggested plan to find stuff you
like, and then print out the plan, recipes and a shopping
list for the week. A nice feature.

Their meal plan is very similar to The Fat Attack diet which
did work once of me. In addition I'll steal an idea from them
which is to add pectin to juice, which helps cut hunger and
fill you up. Also I've found chewable fiber tablets from the
drugstore helps a lot with hunger, especially at bedtime.
The plan is a little too high in carbs for a diabetic, but I can
substitute the bread and pasta for low carb versions of the same.

However, for lunch today it is a big bowl of chicken soup
with lots of garlic. My favorite "I'm getting a cold" meal.
What a drag this is!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Day 5 and home again

Yesterday was too long! I was up at 6am, I managed to get a few
hours of sleep. I was still fretting over the loss of my DS and
games. Then it was finish packing, check out of the hotel.

I went looking for a Starbucks or coffee shop (because I didn't
want to leave my stuff alone in my hotel room while I ate at
the hotel restaurant) and didn't find one! Someone should notify
Starbucks that they have managed to miss putting a shop every
two feet in a busy business locale!

So it was off to work for my last day. I had to drink their
coffee and eat out of the vending machine. Not the healthiest
way to live! At one point during the day, my boss wanted to sent
me to the West coast, to a customer on Monday! I said I would go,
(hey, they pay me!) but I was thinking I wouldn't have much time
to recover from this trip. I needed some sleep! Luckily she then
decided not to send me, at this time, though I'll probably have
to go out there sometime. I finished out the day and said goodbye
to all the wonderful new people I had met.

I decided to drive down to the airport in Philadelphia by the
back roads, to try to see some of the area, and avoid the crush
on the freeways. The back ways were also packed. It was only about
20 miles, but it took me 1 hour and 45 minutes. But I did see
a lot of the beautiful area.

I thought I had lots of time to catch my plane, but the drive took
extra long, I had to drive around the terminal 3 times to find
my rental car return, the shuttle bus driver told me to get
off at the wrong terminal, and I had to take a shuttle back
to the right one. I had been planning a sit-down dinner at the
airport, since I hadn't really eaten all day. But I got to
the gate area about 20 minutes before boarding so I just grabbed
a muffin.

Got to the gate, and at boarding time they announced that we were
missing out flight crew. They were on another plane that wouldn't
be there for 2 hours. So they gave us $10 coupons to go eat.
I wasn't that hungry at that point, so I just had a slice of pizza.

At last we took off, and got in at 1 am this morning. I'd been going
for 21 hours, by the time I got to bed. And oh! My wonderful bed!
I slept well for the first time in 6 days. I wonder if I can pack
my bed in my luggage, for my next trip?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Day 4 out east - troubled times

Today was actually quite good until now. I had a wonderful
day at work, got to know a lot more people, and was feeling
pretty good when I got back to the hotel.

After a quick dinner, I started packing up, as I have to check
out in the morning. Only to discover My Nintendo DS game system,
with all of its games and spare battery which I had left on the
desk was gone.

I searched the room 3 times, I just didn't want to admit that
someone stole it. It was such a nice room and a nice place,
I didn't want to believe it. I finally reported it to the
hotel. I feel kind of shaky. I know it happens, it just hasn't
ever happened to me while traveling.

I'm mad because that is what I was going to use to keep busy
while waiting for my plane, and on the 3 hour trip home.
I hate being bored, and now I don't know what I'll do.
To say nothing of the $250 I'm out.

This turned out to be a very expensive business trip - I had
to buy clothes, and now this. I didn't choose to come on this
trip, it was required of me by work. I wonder if I'd feel better
if it was a vacation of my choosing?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Day 3 in the East

I might as well admit it. I'm not going to see much of anything
on this trip. I'm just too blasted tired. Up at 6 am, got some
breakfast, off to work at some unnatural hour of the morning.
Another long day of meeting people and learning too much.
Only a protein bar to eat.

Back to the hotel, exhausted. Every part of my body hurts. I
just can't find my "sleep number" on that bed. I wake up really
sore. Even the marvelous tub only helps a little.

I was so hungry from not eating, I stopped in the hotel bar/
steakhouse, as soon as I got back to the hotel, and had a huge
salad, and a hamburger. And a beer, which did more for the pain
than anything.

Now it's 7 pm, and I can't really get up the energy to go
anywhere. I think I'll take a walk around the hotel, since it
is still really nice out. Then settle in for some videos on the
computer, and attempt to get some real sleep. So far, sleep
has been in hour bursts, with lots of restless thrashing.

Adventure is good, but there is no bed like home.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Day 2 in the East

Day 2 of the business trip went fine. I got up at 6 am, because
I collapsed at 9 pm last night. I tried out the Jacuzzi bathtub,
and had breakfast at the hotel. Work was good, because I learned
so much, and my head is quite stuffed. I had lunch with a co-worker
and he showed me some new routes to food and my hotel. It gave
me confidence to venture further away from the office and not
get hopelessly lost.

I didn't want dinner again in the hotel, so I found the mall,
and had a lovely meal at the Cheesecake Factory. I've never
eaten there, and found the food to be quite amazingly good!
Pricey, but quite worth it. (Especially when you are having
a hard time feeding yourself on a trip.)

I sat on the patio and enjoyed the gorgeous weather. The servers
and bus girls stopped by to chat when they found I was a
business traveller from Minneapolis (and comment on my accent).
It was very fun and friendly, and I didn't mind eating alone at
all. They took very good care of me. I topped it off with an
exquisite Mojito drink - the best I've ever had. Thanks, my friend
Dave, for introducing those to me, several years ago. Mmmmmmmm.

Back to the hotel, and after playing on the Web to relax, I found
the fitness center at the hotel. I only did bike and treadmill
for 20 minutes, and I was done. Still feeling the effects of
long travel.

So I think I'll watch some videos on my laptop until I'm tired.
That is all the adventure I want for today.

Monday, September 17, 2007

All the comforts of home!


Misplaced in Time and Space

I made it to Philadelphia. Getting up at 3:30 am was weird but
driving to the airport at 4 am is a dream. There is absolutely
no one out there. The airport was fairly empty too. I could really
get to like a late night schedule. The city doesn't feel crowded
at all.

The plane trip seemed really short. The whole plane slept for the
1st hour of the trip. It was a small Embrarer 175 jet. I like small
planes except they are a lot bouncier than the bigger planes.

We landed and it was a daze of getting my luggage, catching the
shuttle bus to the car rental, getting the car (I got a Ford Escape -
really comfortable), and negotiating the strange freeways for
about 45 minutes to the office.

The day blazed by getting to meet everyone and getting down to
doing work. By 5 pm I was getting fried, and drove off to find
my hotel. I realized I hadn't eaten anything but a protein bar
since 3:30 in the morning. I staggered into the hotel sports
bar and finally had some food (and a beer).

My room is a surprise. It is an "exectutive room". I didn't know
I was an executive. I was worried about being uncomfortable as
I always am in hotels, because the beds are too hard, and you cant
get a good soak in the tubs. I have a king sized Select Comfort
"Sleep by Number" bed, and a huge Jacuzzi tub! The room is huge!

I'm too fried to do much else. I'm going to bed early tonight!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Almost time...

Weird. I have to be in bed in 4 hours if I have any hope of
getting so sleep tonight. Then 5 hours of sleep and up at
3:30 am to catch the plane to Philadelphia. Then hopefully
I did get some sleep because I get there about 9 am their time,
then get the rental car, and off for the 40 minute drive to
the office.

Then I get to work all day, then go find my hotel to check in,
and settle in for the week. Just talking about it makes me
tired!

I haven't quite figured out how I'm going to eat during all of
this. Nothing is open that early at the airport, there is no
food on the plane (it is a little one, an 88 seater), then
I have to rush to get to work. Hopefully there is food around
work and I'll managed to take a break and get some!

Travel is always such an adventure. You get down to the basics:
how in the heck to get enough sleep, food, and find your way
in a totally strange city. Well, here goes!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Countdown to ?

I spent the day packing, and picking up a few toiletries for the
work trip next week. I hope this all turns out well, and I do
well. I'm always fearful that I'll get sick or be an idiot or
something. It generally works out fine, so I should not worry.

But as I told a friend at work, I don't believe in the "Power
of Positive Thinking". I much prefer to think everything will
be horrible, and worry about it. Then when everything goes well,
I'm always happily surprised. Hey, it works for me.

I wrote my talk up for the next U.Q. podcast. I'll record it and
post it tomorrow. It will keep me from fretting about the trip!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Calm before.....?

I wish I had something fun to report, but really nothing new.
I'm doing fine, working and playing video games. I'm enjoying
myself, but enjoyment is often very calm and nothing to write
home about.

This weekend I'll be packing for my trip, and recording my
show. Nothing earth shattering, decent weather, no disaters.
I can deal with that. Hopefully I'll have more to talk about
when I'm on the road. I'll bring my camera...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Vertigo Report 'n stuff

I saw the doctor today, and it is as I suspected from all my
web reading. I have BPPV, a condition where little calcium
deposits wander into your ear canals (where they don't belong!)
and make you think you're tipping over when they hit the
sensors in there. Leaning your head back, or laying on the
affected side - various head positions can trigger it.

She gave me a medicine patch to wear for my trip next week, that
may help (related to motion sickness medicine). Then I start
physical therapy the next week when I get back. The intent
of the therapy is to coax the little calcium b*st*rds back to
where they belong. As usual, this is all going to take awhile.
Why is medicine always a long drawn-out affair?

Other than that, I'm digging into my new project, and starting to
really enjoy myself. I love learning new things. I'm actually
starting to get excited about my trip, where I will meet lots
of new people and learn a great deal (I hope!). It seems I first
am a little fearful of traveling to an unknown place, and then
start craving it.

Is it aging, that makes us want the familiar? I don't remember
being resistant to adventure when I was younger. It is something
that I think one should battle against. I don't want to become
old and set in my ways. I think the key to youthfulness is
always trying the new. I'm that way about technology, (always on
the forefront) but I need to apply it more to my everyday life.

I admire the old people I've met on road trips, who got an RV
and spend all of their time traveling. They have this sense of
wanting to always see what is over the next mountain. They seem
fresh and spry. I hope I will be like that. My main problem is I
have no sense of direction, whatsoever, and I am perpetually lost.
When I have to get somewhere important, I'm sure I'm going to
blow it, and be late. When I'm on a road trip, where it doesn't
matter where I end up, I'm much more confident.

Oh heck, adventure ho!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Bad Geek!

I feel like a geek failure. I tried to install BootCamp on
my Mac computer, and I failed. Well, I failed to install
the Windows part. It started the install and then wouldn't
take input from my keyboard. I even tried another USB
keyboard.

I didn't totally want Windows, I just thought it would be
handy to have around. Oh well, not worth the hassle, but I
just lost some "cool" points in the Big Book Of Geek.

Fall seems to be in full swing. The trees are starting to
change, the weather cooled off to a comfortable 65 degrees,
and the sky in that startling intense blue color.

My friend Sharon from work and I are going to try to take
walks every day during lunch, because it is just so nice out.
Fall is my favorite time of year, so I plan to quite enjoy
the next two months.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Traffic-orama

I contemplate the universe, and spend the day playing video
games....

I should have been recording my next show. I know generally
what I am going to do with it. Since I'm going to be out of
town this is the perfect time to try a new thing. I'm going
to ask a big question (one I haven't asked before), discuss
what my initial thoughts are, and ask the audience to send
sound files or email with their thoughts.

If I get some responses, the following show will present
the replies, and maybe a summation from me. And then the
next question. Anyone who has been on the show, and anyone
who hasn't, can be part of the slow motion discussion.

I have to get this up before I leave - next weekend at the
latest. Today was a bad day to record. The 2 major freeways
near me were closed this weekend, and I swear all of the
traffic ended up on my street. There was continuous noise
and traffic, and cars screeching to sudden halts, and honking
at each other. I saw the most amazing bad driving this
weekend, drivers were so impatient, frustrated, and pulled
lots of dumb maneuvers. I can't believe they all didn't
just crash into each other.

I guess, between the bridge being gone, and all the major
freeway closures, we've reached our limits in ability to
get from "here to there".

I hope next weekend is a little quieter...

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Mentally Prepared

I'm resigned to going on this trip. I've printed the maps,
figured out how (sort of) to get from the Philadelphia airport
up to the Valley Forge area (not easy, lots of confusing merges
onto different freeways) and how to get from work to the hotel.

I actually bought some new shirts today for the trip. I tend
not to buy clothes often enough, and all my attire is looking
a little worn. I spend all my money these days on technology,
and fixing the house. I forget about fixing up me, most of the
time.

I'm also diligently doing the vertigo exercises (aptly named
because doing them causes some amazing spinning room experiences
the first few iterations) in the hopes that I can get the
vertigo under control before the trip. I think their main
purpose is to get your brain used to being dizzy.

You have to get this other therapy from the doctor to reposition
the calcium chips that have wandered into the wrong place in your
ear. I don't think I'll have time to get the treatment before
the trip, so I'd better just learn to cope with it. I see the
doctor on Tuesday to see if we will proceed with that.

So all that is left is admitting I have to get up at 3:30 am on
the 17th to catch my 5:25 am plane. I detest getting up early,
but that is just crazy early. Maybe I can convince myself that
it isn't real - that time of the morning is a pretty nebulous,
non-existent time.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Trippy!

Yikes! I'm really going to Pennsylvania for a week for
work. I just booked the trip. I hate traveling alone for
work, though. The last couple of trips I got to go with a
group, which was lots of fun.

This is just me, going to get trained in on the new
project. It will be a frantic learning experience to come
up to speed as fast as possible.

I hate eating alone, and sitting around in my hotel room
at night. I can be adventurous, but not so much on my own.
For a day or two, it isn't bad, but for 5 days, it can get
old.

The hotel has a workout room, and a pool, I suppose I should
make use of them. In that area, I don't know what to go see
except Valley Forge and the mall. I'm not exactly sure what
is even at Valley Forge! It wont be fun like Japan, but I'll
just have to look at it as a sort of mini adventure.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Whiplash into a new direction

Hey I was kidding yesterday, about life giving you surprises.
Today at work, I'm suddenly on a different project and may
be traveling for work in a week and a half.
Just when I was settling into a comfortable (but dull) rut.

Teach me to mouth off. Of course life never listens when I
think I should win the lottery...

Now I'm really trying to keep up with the exercises that are
supposed to help vertigo. I gotta get this under control in
the next week and a half, before I have to fly for work.
I hope plane travel doesn't affect it. In theory the
therapy exercises are supposed to help in 10 days. I'm also
going to see the doctor on Tuesday, though she'll probably
just send me to a specialist.

And on the show front, one listener of the show gave me the
advice that I think I will follow. Try the new monthly
question format, but don't abandon the old format, if I get
an interesting volunteer. I"ll give it a try!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Back to things

Good news, I got the results back from the mole biopsies.
One was totally benign, the other had some displasia (wasn't
cancer - yet, but might be someday). Since the doc cut
them out so totally, I should be fine. Still 3 days to get
the stitches out, which itch a lot.

So there. I'm the picture of health. Or something. Now I
just have to take care of the vertigo. After much reading
and some advice from a reader, I'm pretty sure it is BPPV
which is a benign form where calcium deposits get loose in
your ears and unbalance the heck out of you.
There are ways to make them settle down and behave.

The deciding point on my show is coming up rapidly. I should
do something by this weekend, but I'm still not sure what.
I wouldn't want life to be clear cut, I guess. No surprises.

Monday, September 03, 2007

How Expected!

Well, my weekend turned out exactly as I had planned.
That is actually rather rare. I got a huge dose of video
gaming in, and put in the bathroom floor.

We just went and bought the moulding to finish it off.
I'll post a picture after that part is done, maybe tomorrow.

The extra bonus this weekend, is we found a big,
wonderful Indian Grocery store, called Curry Up. It is in a
northern suburb, Maple Grove, which is a bit of a drive, but
not bad. The reason this is so cool, is that we have gotten
into cooking real curry. Where you get all the whole spices and
fresh curry leaves make it from scratch. It is insanely good.
Doesn't taste anything like the pre-packaged curry stuff.

This grocery also had some snacks that are so good, I can't
believe it. I've never tasted anything so fragrant and
wonderful. Oh, yeah, I think I was supposed to be on a diet.

Back to the real world tomorrow. I'm not ready! Don't make
me go! So I guess I'll finish off the evening with more
escapism...

Saturday, September 01, 2007

I'm So Dizzy" (who remembers THAT song?)

Yes, I've been too busy video gaming to write. Sorry!
I love "Blue Dragon" and we are having lots of fun with it.
Games like this come along so rarely - maybe 2 or 3 a year
that really appeal to me. I don't game that often, just in a
burst when a really good RPG comes along.

My plans for the 3 day holiday weekend? Well, video game,
go to a party, and put in a new bathroom floor. A little work,
a little play. It still feels like this is the wind down for
summer (even though the weather looks quite warm for the
foreseeable future). But darn it, the trees are starting to
turn colors already! They are early this year, I think.

I'm still having the vertigo every day now. I don't know
why, it just started out of nowhere and stayed. I've done
a lot a research, and don't have a lot of hope. People who
get it sometimes live with it for years, and doctors aren't
very good at diagnosing the base problem.

I've sort of gotten used to it and learned to operate around
it, even though I don't like it much. My current hope is
some people get it from a neck injury or strain. My neck
and head do hurt and it gets worse when I put pressure on
my neck. Some chiropractors have had good luck fixing it,
by fixing the neck. If I still have it next week, I think
I'll pursue that route.

I guess now I truly am a "dizzy blond"!

The blog title mention is from the song "Dizzy"
by Tommy Roe - 1969

"I'm so dizzy, my head is spinnin'
Like a whirlpool, it never ends
And it's you, girl, makin' it spin
You're makin' me dizzy"

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sucked into entertainment

Just got the video game "Blue Dragon".

This is made by the guys who made my obsession games
"Final Fantasy". They left the big studio to go off on
their own. This is my first look at what they've been
up to.

Gotta go geekout playtime!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Withering Heights

It was so perfect outside today; 73 degrees, breezy and sunny.
My friend Sharon, from work, and I walked around the building
twice during lunch (1/2 mile). Talking with a lively person
makes exercise much easier!

Then I went back to work, and she went to jump out of an
airplane. She is 6 years older than I am, but I felt like
the old, unexciting person.

Three people from work had scheduled a tandem jumping
session today and everyone teased them through the
morning. Lots of "Break a Leg!", and "Well, it's been nice
knowing you!" comments were flying around.

I admire them, but I would never, ever jump out of an
airplane. I am terrified of heights, I even dislike rides
with dropping motions in them. I think stepladders are
challenging! I will stay safely on the ground and wish
them an exciting experience, and save this creaky, fragile
body to make it through another day.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

You call that freedom?!

I was in the bathroom at work today, deep in thought on some
technical problem, when for the 1st time in 2 years, I noticed
the tampon dispenser. It had bold letters on it "Freedom of
Choice". And a picture of a woman with an armful of roses.

It actually threw me. I stood there and pondered it for a
minute or two. Was the "freedom" that you could choose a
pad or a tampon? A choice of two things. Is that freedom?
What the heck does that have to do with freedom, anyways?
It didn't make me feel free. I passed it off to ostentatious
advertising.

The smiling, pretty woman with the roses also gave me pause.
If you've had a period, you usually aren't smiling. And
you certainly don't smell like roses, nor do you want to
go gather any. I really was trying to understand why they
put the things they did on the dispenser, and failing.

At this point it was a struggle to get back to the technical
problem I was supposed to be thinking about. One should not
be so easily foiled by these clever advertising boxes....

Monday, August 27, 2007

Dizzy Grown Ups

Yech. I woke up with that vertigo thing again today. I still have
no idea why. It wasn't as bad as Thursday, so I went to work
anyways. I could drive, and work, as long as I didn't make any
sudden movements of my head. I felt pretty awful, though.

I think if I'm going to have Vertigo, I should also have Lumbago.
It would be fun to tell people you had Vertigo and Lumbago.
Two of the cooler names for medical problems. They sound kind
of jaunty. Though the actual problems aren't as fun as their
names.

I met a woman at the party last night who looked and acted
pretty old. I didn't feel like I had much in common with her.
She was he mother of one of my friends who was hosting the party.
It turns out she is the same age as me. It made me really think
about how people age differently.

And made me glad I could go home and play video games and goof
off. Being a responsible person isn't overrated.
Being a "grown-up" is.